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PRECIOUS-Gold prices ease off 2-month peak on firm dollar, Powell's comments

    May 4 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday, after
hitting a more than two-month high in the previous session, as a
stronger dollar and optimistic comments from U.S. Federal
Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the economy weighed on the
metal's safe-haven appeal.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was down 0.2% at $1,789.02 per ounce by
0131 GMT. The metal touched its highest since Feb. 25 at
$1,797.75 on Monday.
    * U.S. gold futures        fell 0.2% to $1,788.80 per ounce.
    * The dollar index        was up 0.1% against its rivals,
making gold more expensive for other currency holders.       
    * The U.S. economy is doing better, but is "not out of the
woods yet," Powell said on Monday in remarks that flagged an
upcoming central bank study documenting the disproportionate
blow suffered by the less educated and working parents during
the coronavirus downturn.             
    * U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace in
April, restrained by shortages of inputs as rising vaccinations
against COVID-19 and massive fiscal stimulus unleashed pent-up
demand.             
    * The Bank of Canada's signal that it may begin hiking
interest rates before the Federal Reserve has lit a fire under
the Canadian dollar, but past tightening cycles show faster
liftoff may not be sustained.             
    * South Korea's consumer inflation accelerated to a near
four-year high in April, mainly due to a low base in 2020 and
rising oil and agricultural prices. Data from the Asian country
is a closely watched indicator as it is considered a bellwether
for global trade.             
    * More than 153.02 million people have been reported to be
infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 3,344,235​ have
died, according to a Reuters tally.             
    * Palladium        rose 0.2% to $2,976.83 per ounce, after
scaling an all-time high of $3,007.73 per ounce on Friday. 
    * Silver        was down 0.5% at $26.74 per ounce, while
platinum        dipped 0.1% to $1,228.94. 
            
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0430  Australia  RBA Cash Rate              May
0830  UK         Markit/CIPS Mfg PMI Final  April
1230  US         International Trade        March
1400  US         Factory Orders MM          March

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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